BRAKE PROBLEMS LAND ALEX IN GRAVEL TRAP IN IMOLA
Imola, San Marino -- Sunday, 24th Oct 1999 -- Malaysia's Alex Yoong ended his race in Imola when his brakes failed initially and then locked up in lap 5 of the final race of the Italian F3000 championship in Imola, San Marino today.
It happened when Alex was going into Tosa while following Paolo Ruberti of Italy.
"I thought he braked a bit too early going into Tosa and had to stand on my brakes but nothing happened as I took evasive action to avoid colliding into him. Then the rear brakes locked massively putting me into a spin into the gravel." Said Alex.
"There's nothing I can do about it. The car felt good and I was on the pace. The chap I was following when I went off finished third. In retrospect, I could have finished second as I was preparing to overtake him when the first turn comes around again. But then, that's racing and I've got to live with it and look towards the Macau F3 World Cup in November instead."
When the team inspected the car they found that the rear brakes had sufffered damage from stones lodged in the caliper so affecting the car under braking. the stones had probably got there from an incident from the first corner where Alex was barged off the track by Kolby who in turn was trying to avoid another car.
Alex made a good start climbing from seventh to third at the first corner. when Alex rejoined the circuit he was eighth. Alex then set about chasing the cars in front and quickly caught them and passed two cars to move up to sixth place. Alex's car looked in good shape but on lap three going into Tosa his brakes did not work.
Alex added, "I was very frustrated as this was the last F3000 race this year and I was very keen to do well for my team, Monaco Motorsport, and to try and help my position for next year. As usual I made a good start and was keeping out of trouble."
Team boss Lamberto Leoni said, " Alex has not had much luck over the past few races but every time he has shown that he has the speed and the ability to do well. Alex has impressed me this last half season and I'm sure that with the correct build up to next year, Alex will be a front runner and maybe a winner. In summary for his try out half season in F3000 he has done well with a second and a fifth in F3000 this year."
The final round was won by poleman Dino Morelli of Ireland with Italians Thomas Biagi second and Paolo Ruberti third.
Alex's Monaco Motorsport's team-mate Marco Apicella and Indonesia's F1 hopeful, Ananda Mikola both too failed to finish in a race run on a damp track because of morning showers.
Alex will spend the next week testing the ADR F399 Mugen-Honda Dallara F3 car before the team leave for Macau for the most prestigious F3 race of the year scheduled for 18th to 21st of November 1999.
Only the world's best 32 F3 drivers are invited to the FIA Macau F3 World Cup. Alex received his invitation 2 weeks ago and will show up in Macau for the second time. In 1999 he finished a very creditable 9th in his rookie year.
In the meantime, Alex is evaluating the offers made by various International F3000 teams for his first full season of the FIA F3000 Championship for the new millenium year 2000.